http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/b5899fc619a5db5e494a5c454fc45b63e8a68182.jpg Becoming a Jackal


Becoming a Jackal

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
June 8, 2010

Conor J. O'Brien is as Irish as they come: soft-spoken, given to black moods and flights of literary mysticism, so full of Catholic guilt he probably sweats Communion wine. Villagers' debut album (on which he plays almost every instrument) opens with a Joycean evocation of paralysis called "I Saw the Dead," and only gets heavier. His folk rock folds U2's wide-open red skies into something you can fit in your shirt pocket, leavening fragile songs with gentle orchestrations. But young Conor is no softy; here's how he tells an ex to seek new options: "When it's your turn to disappear/I'll be cheering from the sidelines with a sandwich and a beer."

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »